In today’s increasingly competitive environment, successful businesses have brand loyalty schemes integrated into their organisation’s core marketing strategy. With a focus on retaining consumers, you avoid the high costs of new patron acquisition and losing market share to competitors – it’s the best way moving forward.
The most beneficial strategies address the entire experience from acquisition to return, and the resulting loyal customers tend to be evangelists through word of mouth for your products or services.
In modern society, consumers have limitless opportunities to purchase what they want, and from the provider of their choice. While many still scour other websites and research the best prices before their purchase, most remain loyal. If you can retain this allegiance with your company, you will likely see your returning shoppers spending more, and doing so more frequently.
Those returning subconsciously have an affinity with your product or service, even if they don’t remember the advertising. This means that whatever strategies you choose can go a long way towards the customer experience and your ability to keep them coming back. It becomes less about finance and more about the reputation of the business, its mission and values.
We have ten tips to help boost your brand’s customer awareness and build a positive emotional connection with those who engage with you. These points will help you adjust how you encounter consumers and retain their interest as long-term advocates for your product line.
BRAND LOYALTY STRATEGIES THAT WORK
1. DELIVER VALUE
Campaigns are ultimately futile if you don’t deliver value in some way through your products and services. You can do this by focusing on the regular shopper’s needs, which usually means solving a specific problem or enhancing their life in some way.
This means that you need to be continually refining your product and services to ensure their focus is on the consumer’s needs. This is achieved by understanding your unique selling proposition, using it as the basis on which your campaigns are designed and delivered.
2. FOCUS ON A 360-DEGREE APPROACH
Retaining support is closely tied to the fulfilment of the consumer. Research has shown that as many as three in five customers would engage with another business if it means they receive a better service experience. Alternatively, 70% of the buying experience is based on how they feel they’re being treated.
This isn’t dependent on whether or not you’re predominately eCommerce, phone, web-based or have brick-and-mortar stores. Designing a service channel that builds brand loyalty can involve anything from culture, systems, technology, data streams and loyalty programs.
3. USE EXPERT CONTENT TO ENGAGE
Build the face of your public image by appointing ambassadors from your team with the right persona to communicate effectively. If you find the experts among your current staff members (who are likely to make great sources of authority for buyers looking to engage with them), there will be a more significant source of trust. This can be via online social media channels, or through public conversations about issues relevant to your products and services.
Research has shown that customers find brand executives to be credible authorities for information, and have more confidence in the company when the executive uses the media channels associated with the business, such as social media. Also, expert content is an opportunity to position your business as a thought leader in your industry.
4. BUILD AN ENGAGEMENT CULTURE
Marketing channels such as print, online advertising and social media aren’t just for delivering content in one direction – they’re opportunities to build more robust communication and create relationships.
This is achieved through content, timely replies and quick and effective resolution of any issues, all resulting in higher satisfaction and commitment from consumers. By instilling this type of culture, your entire organisation works on the basis that they can be ready to engage with, respond to and work with a range of stakeholders at all times.
5. RUN INTEGRATED PROMOTIONS CAMPAIGNS
One effective way to boost attachment to your label is through novel promotional campaigns. These heighten awareness while attracting and retaining interest through incentives such as discounts or conditional extras like cashback and rewards. These strategies are proven to be effective because customers love to feel that they’re getting extras or freebies.
Best of all, these campaigns do not need to be complicated. You can outsource a part of the process or even the entire campaign to specialist promotions experts who can work seamlessly with your existing advertising functions to increase client commitment through long-term promotions.
6. SEGMENT LOYALTY LEVELS AND REWARD ACCORDINGLY
Commitment doesn’t necessarily have to be a one-size-fits-all process. For many businesses, the key to sustained brand loyalty is a stratified program, which is relatively easy to set up. These programs deliver rewards according to purchase volume or frequency. Rather than rewarding annual clients in the same manner as regular monthly shoppers, you reward each one according to their patronage level.
7. ENGAGE THROUGH MOBILE
Most labels understand the importance of mobile interaction, but what are the implications for brand loyalty? Obviously, marketing content channels need to be tailored to be mobile optimised, but there are also other opportunities in this format. These include greater personalisation through location, integration of purchasing, and deeper interactions through social media (strongly linked with mobile). Other possibilities include SMS marketing, push notifications through your app and mobile-wallet-based payments. While this list isn’t endless, these are great to start with and to begin increasing interactions.
8. ENCOURAGE SHARING OF REVIEWS AND SUCCESS STORIES
Capturing reviews and displaying them on your online channels offers greater transparency and boosts trust from your regular shoppers or clients. If negative reviews have been written, you can choose to display them and follow up with a public response to show you have resolved the issue or are working on eliminating the source. At the same time, capture success stories and share them online to further humanise your business.
9. PERSONALISE AND LOCALISE WHEREVER POSSIBLE
Studies show that consumers, particularly millennials, are highly engaged by personalised marketing and experiences, and they will pay more for it. Wherever possible – from marketing strategy to product or service delivery – build a relationship where they feel secure and respected. This will satisfy them, which is why by making the customer experience as personalised as you can, they will continue to stay with your establishment.
10. CAPTURE FEEDBACK AND ADJUST
No customer base is static, given changing demographics and fluctuating market and industry conditions. By capturing feedback through timely surveys and follow-up questionnaires, you can determine precisely what your patrons are thinking and what you can do to improve.
Remember, the ratio of unhappy clientele who bother to complain can be as low as 1 to 26, so be proactive about feedback, processing it, and adjusting your operations to address any negative feedback.
BONUS POINT – MAINTAIN CONSISTENCY
We’ve established a myriad of ideas for increasing brand loyalty that differs when it comes to different types of clients, such as millennials. Yet, when everything is pulled together, you need to maintain consistency across all your media channels. These need to align with your goals, as they are what brought patrons to you in the first instance, and further how they developed their trust in your business.